Work share is a positive option for both companies and their employees in times of economic need. It is a voluntary program that allows employers to maintain a skilled and stable workforce during temporary economic downturns.
Here’s an example of how it works. Instead of laying off 10 workers due to decreased demand, a company could keep the full workforce in place but reduce the hours of 40 workers by 25%. The impacted employees would receive three-quarters of their normal salary, as well as be eligible for partial unemployment insurance benefits to supplement their reduced paycheck.
Just like regular unemployment insurance, work sharing benefits would not fully cover lost income. They would, however, help mitigate the loss.
There is no negative impact on the state’s unemployment insurance fund.
Work share programs are in place in more than 25 states. They are intended as temporary solutions, usually lasting no more than six months. The biggest users are manufacturers, where work flow often varies based on current contracts.
Neighboring Michigan and Ohio passed legislation that authorized work share programs. Indiana failed to do so the last two years, despite support in both political parties. Let’s finally make it happen in 2015.